Climbing Sugarloaf (Not The One in Maine)

This past Saturday I ventured out along with a group of seven other Champlain students to climb Sugarloaf Mountain… not the one in Maine. We took the Dublin Bus 145 for roughly an hour and half to Kilmacanogue, where we got our first views of our challenge, and the skies opened up. As we made our way past several quaint cottages and through a narrow dirt vein in the tall grass the rain began to intensify. The harder the rain lashed the steeper the mountain got. Not being in the greatest of shape, and not being a fan of trudging through mud in soaking wet clothes during a monsoon, I considered stopping at several points to make my way back to the pub that we saw on the way to the base. The others in the group did a great job encouraging each other to make it the top.

The last chunk of the mountain required us to scramble up some rocks, each giving those behind ideas on what rocks were best footholds. When we got to the top we were so excited that it took a few minutes for us to realize that there was no view from the top. The rainy weather had created a thick fog preventing us from seeing a thing. I didn’t even bother trying to take any pictures of the view, because there wasn’t one, but I’m sure on a sunny day the view would be wonderful. While there was no view, the fog made me feel as though I had hiked so high up I was in the clouds, and from the way my thighs felt the next day it sure seemed like it. 

The journey down was less damp, but my shoes developed the traction of blocks of ice. Once we all skidded down the mountain, we headed to the pub I had considered abandoning the group for. We took off our damp outer layers and warmed up as much as possible before getting back on the bus to Dublin. As a novice hiker I felt accomplished having tackled the 1,644 ft Sugarloaf. While to some in the group the physical hiking aspect wasn’t a challenge, for all the weather was. We successfully reached the summit of Sugarloaf on a day of record rainfall in the area. Despite my lack of experience, the lashing rains, whipping winds, and slick conditions, I enjoyed hiking Sugarloaf and may even invest in a pair of much needed hiking boots. 

Laurl O’Meara

Champlain College Dublin Student

Champlain Class of 2013

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